Past Events

18 April 2019

NEF Past Presenter Update and Panel Discussion

ForumLocation: 

Ann Arbor SPARK Central, 330 E. Liberty St, Lower Level, Ann Arbor

Past Presenter Update

We showcase an outstanding team of entrepreneurs who are looking to raise capital for their venture. They have gone through an extensive coaching from our experienced coaches and these founders are eager to present their venture to the entrepreneurial community at this event.

This event gives the start-up the opportunity to practice presenting to investors and others interested in the Detroit Area entrepreneurial community.  Each presentation will reflect NEF training on what is important to communicate and what not to do. They would greatly appreciate your feedback, insights and encouragement. You will also learn a few tips and techniques i sharpening your own pitch for your venture.

Join us at this meeting to ask questions, keep pace with local entrepreneurs, and connect with people who support the local start-up community.

This month Mandy and Pandy will present their story and give us an update since they initially presented in January 2018 as NEF Showcase Presenter.

Mandy and Pandy

Christopher Lin, CEO of Mandy and Pandy
The strength of Mandy and Pandy lies in its magic power to arouse curiosity among young kids, who will then be engaged to learn the language with interest and fun. Everything in the book (texts pictures, activities, etc.) was meticulously developed for this purpose. Mandy and Pandy Co. was formed in 2007 with success in the book market - teaching American kids Chinese.  With Chinese becoming more important in the global economic and cultural landscape, the company was re-invigorated in 2016 with a more ambitious B2B model selling to schools.  The proven content is being digitized to scale and penetrate the school market.  

Read Mandy and Pandy's full Showcase Presenter profile

 

PANEL DISCUSSION: Financial Modeling and Key Metrics in a Startup Environment

In addition, we have a panel of experts who will guide you through understanding importance of financials in presenting your venture to investors.

Although you can start a business with just an idea and very little money, you usually can’t progress too far without thinking about finances.  Will this business make money?  How?  What are some of the key assumptions you need to consider?  How do you show potential investors that a good return is feasible?

There are certain things investors are looking for in the financials presented by entrepreneurs in their executive summary or initial investor pitch when they are seeking funding. Although no forecast can be counted on with certainty, investors look for a reasonable business model, expectations of sales growth and cash flow, P&L forecasts, and valid assumptions behind any plan. They also look for red flags: sure signs that the numbers are not to be trusted and that the founding team might need too much help. In this month's forum, we want to focus on what founders can do to use Financials to emphasize their story.  We are including some founders on our panel to tell us what worked and didn't work from the founder perspective. 

We hope that this will be of greater interest and value to founders and it will be a dynamic discussion between investors, founders and the audience. 

Moderator:

Lee Gorman.  Lee Gorman is the founder of Barton Consulting Services, LLC, Mentor in Residence at Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University, and works with SPARK’s Entrepreneurial Services to connect startups with the resources they need.  She has participated in SPARK’s Entrepreneur Boot Camp for years and now serves as Director.

Lee’s first career was in the automotive industry, with over 20 years in all aspects of product development, culminating with positions as vehicle Chief Engineer and Director of Product Planning.

In her consulting practice, Lee combines practical planning and effective execution to achieve sustainable success for businesses and nonprofit organizations.  She has particular expertise in assisting start-up and early stage companies develop their businesses, and in coaching their founders and leaders in the business aspects of bringing their ideas to market.  She has done extensive work for local startups and early-stage companies, including serving as Director of the Automotive Business for Coherix, Inc., and COO for WriteSteps, LLC.   In addition to being a frequent judge for business plan competitions, Lee enjoys mentoring and coaching entrepreneurs.  She has served on the Boards of two start-ups, as well as many non-profits.

Lee holds both an MBA and a BBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and a BSME from Lawrence Technological University.

Panelists:

Mark Ritz is a member of the Screening Committee of the Michigan Angel Fund. In this capacity he is directly involved in the entire process of reviewing business plans, financial pro forma’s and investor pitches, conducting due diligence investigation and constructing investment term sheets. He also assists Spark’s Entrepreneurial Services team by working with companies to prepare the business plan and financial statements required to apply for a Business Accelerator grant. He has been a member of the Boot Camp teaching team for 5 years. He originally attended Boot Camp in Spring 2010 while serving as Director of Business Development for Shepherd Intelligence Systems, a transportation tech start-up.

Mark serves on the Board of Directors of Attune Medical, an early stage medical device company and is a Board Observer for Groundspeed Analytics, an early stage insurtech company and former Boot Camp graduate.

Prior to becoming involved in Michigan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, Mark spent 35 years in the automotive industry with Ford, Allied Signal, Siemens, United Technologies and Lear, focusing on commercialization of new products and technologies. This work led to his establishing joint development partnerships with outside companies. Ultimately, as Vice President, Corporate Development, he was responsible for evaluating and implementing corporate transactions. In this role he led teams to execute over two dozen business deals including acquisitions, divestitures and joint ventures. Mark participated on the Board of Directors of several of these new joint ventures, guiding them through their start-up phase.

Mark received a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Gerry Roston is currently working with Spectrum Health Innovations as an EIR focused on assessing the market potential of new medical devices. He has served as the CEO of Civionics, a University of Michigan startup that delivers intelligent sensor-based systems to manufacturers to help them minimize unplanned downtime; and he was an Executive-in-Residence at TechTown Detroit, where he helps entrepreneurs transition their ideas into sustainable businesses.

 

 

Kevin Wittrup.  As an early stage entrepreneur and venture partner, Kevin has been a founder and key operator in several early stage companies and technology commercialization ventures, most recently BIOVIGIL Hygiene Technologies LLC, CardioSounds, LLC and Orasis Systems, LLC. As the co-founder and CEO of BIOVIGIL from 2011-2017, Kevin led the effort to commercialize a sophisticated healthcare technology product and build a team that operationalized the diverse aspects of the business including product development, cloud data applications, installation and maintenance services, clinical implementation and support services, and manufacturing. Kevin is also an active member of the managing board at Advanced Battery Concepts. ABC is a battery technology company based in Claire, MI. that has developed a disruptive bipolar battery technology. Kevin holds an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and a MS in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University.

Agenda:

Mark your calendar. The meeting opens at 5:00 pm with networking and appetizers. Around 5:45 pm, the program portion of the meeting begins with an introduction from our President including upcoming entrepreneurial events and past NEF Showcase Presenter news. The program continues with our featured Showcase Presenter(s) who are graduates of the NEF coaching process. Depending on the month or otherwise noted, the program includes the engaging NEF Pitch Pit or intriguing topic and panel. The program typically finishes at 7:15 pm with more networking afterwards. Please feel welcome to join us.

The event is FREE. Registration is not required but recommended for planning purposes.

REGISTER

 

21 March 2019

NEF Showcase Presentation and Pitch Pit

ForumLocation: 

Ann Arbor SPARK Central, 330 E. Liberty St, Lower Level, Ann Arbor

Showcase Presentation

We showcase an outstanding team of entrepreneurs who are looking to raise capital for their venture. They have gone through an extensive coaching from our experienced coaches and these founders are eager to present their venture to the entrepreneurial community at this event.

This event gives the start-up the opportunity to practice presenting to investors and others interested in the Detroit Area entrepreneurial community.  Each presentation will reflect NEF training on what is important to communicate and what not to do. They would greatly appreciate your feedback, insights and encouragement. You will also learn a few tips and techniques in sharpening your own pitch for your venture.

Join us at this meeting to ask questions, keep pace with local entrepreneurs, and connect with people who support the local start-up community.

Giggso

Ravi Venugopla, CEO and Founder

Ravi is a serial entrepreneur, innovator and data evangelist. He specializes in Big data, AI/ML and Data engineering. Ravi has vertical experience for more than two decades in Finance, Automotive & Retail business areas. Ravi has successfully completed two exits. Giggso is his third venture.

Giggso is an integrated big data platform to manage collaboration tools and business apps, with cross-platform search, engagement incentives, and actionable insights. Giggso is available on saas or customized for the enterprise with their business and security needs.

NEF Pitch Pit

Four entrepreneurs will each give a four-minute pitch of their business idea to a panel of investor judges in a “Shark Tank” format. Prototypes and visual aids are encouraged but no Power Point presentations. After each pitch, the judges will give detailed feedback and score the business. At the end of the evening, the person with the highest score will receive a $100 cash prize plus all additional prize money provided by the audience.

Our Pitch Pit participants will be:

Assam Alzookery, Intvo.  INTVO uses behavioral artificial intelligence (AI) to break through the boundaries of autonomous vehicle technology and improve safety. INTVO combines advanced vision systems with a complex and robust data set to bring true understanding of human behavior to the road.

Luke Donahue, Greek Loans.  Greek Loans is a peer-to-peer lending platform for members of Greek systems.  The platform raises funds from local alumni associations to invest in the futures of their undergraduate membership.

Sharen Eddings, Codewithsharen LLC.  Codewithsharen teaches coding to teachers so that teachers can teach their Students. Codewithsharen offers effective, low-cost STEM courses via our Software as a Service (SaaS) STEM E-Learning software.

Anjan Saha, Deooxylytics, LLC.  Our software solution is a diabetes-focused standalone bedside clinical-decision support tool that can integrate, weigh, and quantify sources of heterogeneity in therapeutic responses to produce personalized, clinically actionable recommendations that will optimize outcomes benefits for patients evaluated with this tool.

Our Pitch Pit judges will be:

A panel of three esteemed judges will provide feedback and score the teams.

Dave Repp

Dave focuses on the creation of life science start-up companies and business opportunities based on technologies discovered and developed at the University of Michigan.  He has over 15 years of experience in research commercialization, new venture creation, and business consulting in the life sciences and high tech industries.

Before joining the Venture Center, Dave was President and COO of Gema Diagnostics, a venture-backed molecular diagnostics company seeking to improve clinical outcomes in in vitro fertilization.  Prior to Gema, he was a founder and Vice President of University of Michigan spin-out, Avidimer Therapeutics.  He consulted at ANGLE Technology, a venture investment and management consulting firm focused on life sciences and high tech opportunities in the US and UK, and Deloitte Consulting where he was on the Strategic Advisory Team for the firm’s High Tech Industry Practice.

Dave earned his MBA (Samuel Zell Scholar) from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Melanie de Vries

As a member of the Michigan SBDC TechTeam, Melanie advises advanced technology founders and executives on strategic business planning, market analysis and positioning, customer discovery, go-to-market strategies, marketing and sales, brand development, and partner and customer management. 

Melanie’s experience includes over a decade as a growth consultant for companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 and serving as CEO with edtech/fintech start-ups Kidtelligent and PaymentScholar. She was also the senior marketing officer for Deloitte & Touche/Deloitte Consulting, The Learning Care Group and ForeSee Results. Melanie is a graduate of The University of Michigan.  She lives with her husband and two daughters in Ann Arbor. 

Warren Galloway

Warren S. Galloway, Jr., owner of Warren Galloway & Associates LLC, has more than 14 years of executive level banking and 20 years of small business experience, working in many capacities with nonprofit groups, individuals, and businesses. Mr. Galloway has served in key positions at some of the largest national and regional financial institutions in the United States—among them E*TRADE Bank, Charter One Bank (now known as Citizens Bank), Standard Federal Bank (now known as Bank of America), and NBD Bank (now known as Chase Bank)—holding a number of posts in Regulatory Affairs, Compliance, Community Reinvestment (CRA), Community Development, Personal and Mortgage Lending, Investments, Small Business Lending, and Retail Branch Operations.

Mr. Galloway earned a B.S. in Marketing/Business Administration from Central Michigan University, as well as a J.D. from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School.

 

Mark your calendar. The meeting opens at 5:00 pm with networking and appetizers. Around 5:45 pm, the program portion of the meeting begins with an introduction from our President including upcoming entrepreneurial events and past NEF Showcase Presenter news. The program continues with our featured Showcase Presenter(s) who are graduates of the NEF coaching process. Depending on the month or otherwise noted, the program includes the engaging NEF Pitch Pit or intriguing topic and panel. The program typically finishes at 7:15 pm with more networking afterwards. Please feel welcome to join us.

The event is FREE. Registration is not required but recommended for planning purposes.

REGISTER

Showcase Presenter: 

21 February 2019

NEF Celebrates Entrepreneurship - Annual Awards

ForumLocation: 

Ann Arbor SPARK Central, 330 E. Liberty St, Lower Level, Ann Arbor

New Enterprise Forum invites anyone interested in entrepreneurship to join us at our monthly Forum to connect with entrepreneurs, investors, service providers and businesses.

The February 2019 meeting is our 33rd birthday party, where we celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit. Join in on the fun as we celebrate entrepreneurialism by awarding the 2018 NEF Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Guess which 2018 NEF Showcase Presenters will take home pitch awards for Best Presentation, Best Technology and Best Business Model. Be a part of coaching, perfecting and connecting at NEF where entrepreneurs rule!

Join us at this meeting to ask questions, keep pace with local entrepreneurs, and connect with people who support the local start-up community.

Guest Presentation

This month we have invited Jeff Mason, Co-CEO of Groundspeed Analytics to be our Guest Presenter. Last February Jeff received NEF 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Groundspeed closed a $30 million Series-B investment last year. We invited Jeff to tell his story to the entrepreneurial community at this event.

Groundspeed

Jeff Mason is the Founder and co-CEO of Groundspeed Analytics. Formed in early 2016, this innovative InsurTech utilizes machine learning to transform unstructured commercial insurance documents into actionable intelligence. By making the process more accurate and efficient, insurance carriers and brokers now have a game-changing tool to advance their information advantage. Groundspeed closed a $30 million Series-B investment from Oak HC/FT in July, 2018. The investment is being deployed to accelerate product development and customer success.
 
Prior to Groundspeed, Jeff served as Senior Vice President and executive committee member of Chelsea Rhone, an insurance holding company where he led analytics, captive management and all innovation efforts. It was during this time Jeff first caught the entrepreneur bug and founded QAreader.com, an insurtech SaaS company and Evolucent, a risk management consultancy.  Jeff learned to code while working at Nickelodeon Animation Studios, helping cartoons like SpongeBob SquarePants and CatDog take shape. (He swears that the cartoon characters created in Pasadena are nothing compared to the characters he’s met in insurance.) Jeff holds an MBA from the University of Michigan.

2018 Entrepreneur of the Year

Dug Song, Vice President and General Manager, Cisco and Co-Founder, Duo Security

A leading voice in information security, Dug has a history of building successful products and companies to solve pressing security problems. Prior to launching Duo, Dug spent seven years as founding Chief Security Architect at Arbor Networks, protecting 80 percent of the world’s Internet service providers and helping to grow the company to $120M+ annual revenue before its acquisition by Danaher. He also built the first commercial network anomaly detection system, acquired by Check Point Software Technologies.

2018 Rising Star of the Year

Find out who is NEF’s "2018 Rising Star of the Year” as we present this newly-created award to celebrate entrepreneurs who are on their way to becoming household names.

2018 NEF Showcase Presenter Awards

Here are the contenders for the 2018 Showcase presenter awards. They worked hard. They all deserve congratulations on their presentations, but only three will be taking home an award for their outstanding efforts.

The winners’ names remain secret until show time, even they do not know which award they have won.

Agenda:

Mark your calendar. The meeting opens at 5:00 pm with networking and appetizers. Around 5:45 pm, the program portion of the meeting begins with an introduction from our President including upcoming entrepreneurial events and past NEF Showcase Presenter news. The program continues with our featured Showcase Presenter(s) who are graduates of the NEF coaching process. Depending on the month or otherwise noted, the program includes the engaging NEF Pitch Pit or intriguing topic and panel. The program typically finishes at 7:15 pm with more networking afterwards. Please feel welcome to join us.

24 January 2019

NEF Showcase Presentation and Pitch Pit

ForumLocation: 

Ann Arbor SPARK Central, 330 E. Liberty St, Lower Level, Ann Arbor

Showcase Presentation

We showcase an outstanding team of entrepreneurs who are looking to raise capital for their venture. They have gone through an extensive coaching from our experienced coaches and these founders are eager to present their venture to the entrepreneurial community at this event.

This event gives the start-up the opportunity to practice presenting to investors and others interested in the Detroit Area entrepreneurial community.  Each presentation will reflect NEF training on what is important to communicate and what not to do. They would greatly appreciate your feedback, insights and encouragement. You will also learn a few tips and techniques in sharpening your own pitch for your venture.

Join us at this meeting to ask questions, keep pace with local entrepreneurs, and connect with people who support the local start-up community.

InheRET

David F. Keren, MD., CEO/Chair of the Board:  As a senior clinical pathologist, Dr. Keren served 22 years at the helm of Warde Medical Laboratory.  In addition, Dr. Keren has many years of leadership experience at the University of Michigan including Director of the Clinical Laboratories and Chair of the Molecular Test Committee. He also has held leadership positions on several non-profit professional boards including serving as President of the American Board of Pathology.  Dr. Keren provides experienced and capable leadership to InheRET.

InheRET, Inc. is a startup SaaS company from the University of Michigan to develop decision support software to identify patients at increased risk for hereditary diseases, increasing patient access to preventative care.

NEF Pitch Pit

Three entrepreneurs will each give a four-minute pitch of their business idea to a panel of investor judges in a “Shark Tank” format. Prototypes and visual aids are encouraged but no Power Point presentations. After each pitch, the judges will give detailed feedback and score the business. At the end of the evening, the person with the highest score will receive a $100 cash prize plus all additional prize money provided by the audience.

Our Pitch Pit participants will be:

Michael Diaz, Retrospect
Retrospect is a real-time risk monitoring system for vehicles.

Braden Shugarman, Shugarman Surgical Innovations
Braden and his grandfather have created an eyelid speculum for medical procedures.

Rutooj Deshpande, Vidyut Wheels
Vidyut Wheels is an extended range electric two wheeler startup for the Indian market.

Our Pitch Pit Judges are:

Diane Bouis

As the Innovation Program Manager at the Office of Tech Transfer Venture Accelerator, Diane’s role is to bridge the gap between academic science and entrepreneurship, working closely with faculty founders, industry mentors and the broader entrepreneurial ecosystem inside and outside the university to identify and leverage the resources for startups to thrive.

Prior to this role she practiced and taught Lean Startup principles and intrapreneurship in Fortune 1-50 companies as an innovation consultant with the Inovo Group. In her spare time Diane co-founded and -ran a local non-profit healthcare hackathon, Ann Arbor Health Hacks (A2H2), an experience that developed her knowledge and passion for the Southeast Michigan entrepreneurial ecosystem.

David Dusseau

David is a seasoned entrepreneur with over three decades of experience launching, building and growing new ventures and initiatives around innovative offerings in high-tech, clean energy, and consumer goods. Mr. Dusseau, a Michigan native, began his career in the heart of Silicon Valley after studying Electrical Engineering at UCLA and a short career in the US Navy as a Cryptology Specialist.

His career has included starting two non-profits and four commercial ventures, driving market development initiatives in the Pacific Northwest and Mid-Atlantic regions to promote the adoption of advanced energy technologies, coaching and mentoring dozens of early-stage companies, and launching the first Impact Venture and Certified B Corp out of the University of Virginia addressing the global clean water epidemic.

Kristin Kolodge

Kristin is Executive Director of Driver Interaction and Human Machine Interface (HMI) at J.D. Power. She is responsible for establishing a new HMI practice at the company.

Prior to joining J.D. Power in 2014, Ms. Kolodge was senior manager of HMI and ergonomics at Fiat Chrysler. She spent the majority of her 18 years at the company developing automotive features that enhance the customer interface by optimizing ergonomics, intuitiveness and usability.

Ms. Kolodge received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Michigan Technological University and a master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Michigan.

Alicia Torres

Most recently, Alicia was Chief Financial Officer & Senior VP of New Ventures for Altarum Institute, a healthcare research firm, where, for five years, she was in charge of the corporate infrastructure departments and the for-profit new ventures.  Alicia has founded two healthcare technology companies: Rosebud Solutions, a software firm focused on process improvement solutions and Payformance Solutions, a value-based reimbursement service provider.

Alicia also has global healthcare experience as she was the Global Healthcare Practice Leader for Zebra Technologies, a global manufacturer and distributor of barcode platforms with locations in 50 countries, over 10,000 channel partners, and generating $3.7B in global sales.

Mark your calendar. The meeting opens at 5:00 pm with networking and appetizers. Around 5:45 pm, the program portion of the meeting begins with an introduction from our President including upcoming entrepreneurial events and past NEF Showcase Presenter news. The program continues with our featured Showcase Presenter(s) who are graduates of the NEF coaching process. Depending on the month or otherwise noted, the program includes the engaging NEF Pitch Pit or intriguing topic and panel. The program typically finishes at 7:15 pm with more networking afterwards. Please feel welcome to join us.

REGISTER

Registration recommended for planning purposes.

Showcase Presenter: 

20 December 2018

Holiday Break - No Forum Meeting in December

ForumLocation: 

Ann Arbor SPARK Central, 330 E. Liberty St, Lower Level, Ann Arbor

To allow everyone to unwind and relax, we will be taking a break from our normal Forum schedule for December. However, that does not mean we are taking a break from NEF coaching or participating in other entrepreneurial events around the area.

The next NEF Forum event will be on January 17, 2019.  Mark your calendar. 

15 November 2018

Mobility Showcase Presentations by 2018 GAMIC Winners and Panel Discussion

ForumLocation: 

Ann Arbor SPARK Central, 330 E. Liberty St, Lower Level, Ann Arbor

New Enterprise Forum invites anyone interested in entrepreneurship to join us at our monthly Forum to connect with entrepreneurs, investors, service providers and businesses.

Showcase Presentations by 2018 GAMIC Winners

At this month's Forum, we are showcasing 2018 Global Automotive Mobility Innovation Competition (GAMIC) winners at our November forum. NEF has been a long-term supporter of GAMIC and NEF coaches have provided guidance to these teams during semi-finals and finals this year.

The four winners won the first place in each category at the 2018 Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress (SAE-WCX). Metro-Detroit and Ann Arbor have become Centers for Mobility innovation and many innovators and entrepreneurs are engaged in bringing their technologies to the industry.

These founders are eager to present their venture to the entrepreneurial community at this event.

This event gives the start-ups the opportunity to practice presenting to investors and others interested in the Detroit Area entrepreneurial community. They would greatly appreciate your feedback, insights and encouragement. You will also learn a few tips and techniques in sharpening your own pitch for your venture.

Join us at this meeting to ask questions, keep pace with local entrepreneurs, and connect with people who support the local start-up community.

GhostWave

Dean Zody, Founder & CEO.  GhostWave is developing a leading-edge, multi-factor Superior Size Weight and Power (SWaP) Detect and Avoid System (DAAS). It is positioned to be employed in both military and civilian Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). GhostWave will provide a DAAS solution incorporating a novel patented RF noise radar system which allows for distance object detection, approximate object classification, and an immunity to being jammed or even detected. This radar also allows UASs to fly in swarms without the risk of each individual DAAS radar interfering with others. The company will incorporate a state-of-the-art sensor fusion package to ensure each sensor system’s capabilities compliment that of the others and maximizes the functionality of the fielded DAAS system.

Dean Zody is a Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt and has over 20 years of experience in telecommunications with Lucent Technologies/Alcatel-Lucent/Nokia.  Prior to forming GhostWave two years ago, Dean was Operations Director for a remote services center in Romania.  Dean’s international experience includes China, Thailand, Mexico, Brazil, Ireland, France and Romania. Dean has an Engineering degree and an MBA from The Ohio State University.  He also has a smoking hot wife, son, dog and enjoys beekeeping.

Parkofon

Evgeny Klochikhin, Founder & CEO. Parkofon is a smart mobility company that provides a fully automated parking payment and guidance system. When the driver parks in a legal space they can just park and walk away; the platform knows exactly where they are, how long they can stay there, and sends them expiration alerts. When they return and drive on, Parkofon automatically charges them for the actual time they spent parked. Parkofon has partnered with Avis Budget Group to pilot and deploy its solution to rental drivers. The company has relationships with major U.S. and foreign cities and parking companies to offer hourly garage parking to its customers and provide user analytics.

Evgeny Klochikhin, PhD, has over 10 years of experience in data science, technology, and public relations. Prior to starting Parkofon in 2016, he led several large-scale U.S. and international projects in innovation policy and technology management worth over US$4 million where he developed novel computational approaches to data management, text analysis, and statistical systems. Dr. Klochikhin authored multiple articles, papers, and book chapters on the subjects of innovation policy and data science.

Pivot Materials

Raju Patil, Co-Founder and Engineering Manager. Pivot Materials, is a women owned advanced materials provider, specializing in bamboo and rice vestige fiber composite plastic for injection molding, extrusion and thermoforming applications. Our material is light-weight, sustainable, durable, and cost competitive and no tooling changes are required in typical manufacturing processes. Our focus is on the automotive, packaging, and home and housewares industries, with automotive as our beachhead.

Raju Patil is an Entrepreneur, Innovator and Mechanical Engineer. Combining those skills, plus his passion for sustainability that is engrained by his upbringing in rural India lead him to co-found a sustainable material manufacturer. Pivots goals and Raju’s are the same: Change the plastics industry. Raju has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Karnataka University in India.  With about 20 years of experience in plastics and the automotive industry, his experience lead to him work in India, Japan and the US. His career started on the shop floor, then moved to part design and eventually to managing multi-national teams as well as luxury automotive design, prior to Pivot.

Raju lives with his wife in Farmington Hills and in his spare time enjoys traveling, learning about ancient cultures and napping.

Scientel (GENSONIX)

Norman T Kutemperor, Founder & CEO.  GENSONIX is an advanced DBMS system that is a serious contender to SQL databases. Gensonix can tackle many problems that are difficult or nearly impossible with SQL databases. Gensonix incorporates multi-modeling; a feature that allows structured data to be stored in tables and unstructured data to be stored in document stores thereby vastly improving data storage and processing efficiency. Gensonix is highly scalable and can reach more than 16000 DB nodes on HPC systems and supercomputers. Gensonix only requires 1 CPU core per DB node and can scale to an entire supercomputer utilizing all CPU cores available within the system.

Norman is the Founder and President of Scientel Information Technology, Inc., Novi, Michigan. He has a BS Degree in Combined Sciences from Carroll College, Helena, MT.  He is the Developer of Gensonix DBMS System and has 30+ years of Business systems development experience. He is the author of the NSQL® Language. He has also designed the LDWA series HPC server systems incorporating 172 Cores, 172 DB nodes, 180TB storage, 176GB memory, for big data and large transactions management. 

He was awarded the TECHNOLOGY CEO of the Year USA 2015 award by Business Worldwide magazine and also was recognized as the VOICE of Big Data by The European magazine. Under his guidance, Scientel conducted one of the LARGEST DB runs for Supercomputers as benchmarked at Ohio State Supercomputer. He is a national speaker and has shared the podium with speakers from NASA, NSF, and IBM etc. He also appeared for a cover story article on CIOReview magazine and the Scientel Big data story has been published by Business Worldwide magazine, The European magazine, Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, etc. He has held webinars at the University of Maryland Graduate School for Modern databases, as well as Big data solutions with EMC, etc.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Marketing Dollars and Sense?

In addition, we have a panel of experts who will guide you through importance of marketing budgets and plans.

Have you ever wondered what how much to budget for marketing in your financial plans? What makes sense? Our experienced panel will 'tell all' the ins and outs of marketing challenges and opportunities for startups during the early stages of customer acquisition and growth.

We hope that this will be of greater interest and value to founders and it will be a dynamic discussion between investors, founders and the audience.

Panel:

We have an outstanding panel of investors and entrepreneurs.

Panelists:

Bob Chunn is a local entrepreneur and business person who started ContentOro, a company that provides unique web content from books.  He has spent nearly 30 years working for retail companies like Meijer, Kmart, Borders, Pet Supplies Plus and Sun and Ski Sports as a Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Digital Officer and a financial professional.  Bob has hired and led diverse groups of marketing and sales professionals over his career and is currently working with several startups to help them achieve revenue and valuation targets and to create plans for future growth.  He specialized in B2C and B2B sales and marketing strategy and specifically in micro-targeting, a highly-efficient form of digital marketing.

Molly McFarland, Founder & CRO, AdAdapted, Inc. Molly McFarland has spent the last eight years designing and executing sales and marketing strategy for technology startups. Before founding AdAdapted, she held the Director of Marketing position at Amplifinity, where she worked with sales, product and executive management teams to translate vision into effective brand building, as well as prioritize product development to increase client loyalty and close rates. As founder and CRO of AdAdapted, Molly leads all aspects of sales, marketing, and client success, including: managing a direct sales team, business development, and account management/client success.

Patrick Garrity. Patrick is an entrepreneur, investor and SaaS security expert! At Duo, he currently leads product marketing and has previously lead sales and international expansion teams. While living abroad with his family of 4 in London, England during 2017, Patrick transformed Duo’s international business including expanding sales into over 25+ countries. Patrick is known for taking on the toughest challenges. Recently he committed to getting a Duo seal Tattoo if $10k was raised for Mott children’s hospital and the fund raiser completed with over $30k. Check out the video:https://duosecurity.wistia.com/medias/iefinbpkmz. Patrick has an associates degree in liberal arts from Oakland Community College.

Moderator:

Francis Glorie. In more than 40 years of executive leadership and technology startups, Francis has played critical roles in seven startups, four large-scale turnarounds and three large financial exits and post-merger restructurings in the IT and MedTech sectors. Throughout, he gained a reputation as a skilled strategist, negotiator and international business developer, driving partnerships and large transactions. Francis is currently an entrepreneur in residence at TechTown Detroit, a board member at  New Enterprise Forum  in Ann Arbor supporting many Southeast Michigan technology startups as an acting CEO, coach or board member.

Agenda:

Mark your calendar. The meeting opens at 5:00 pm with networking and appetizers. Around 5:45 pm, the program portion of the meeting begins with an introduction from our President including upcoming entrepreneurial events and past NEF Showcase Presenter news. The program continues with our featured Showcase Presenter(s) who are graduates of the NEF coaching process. Depending on the month or otherwise noted, the program includes the engaging NEF Pitch Pit or intriguing topic and panel. The program typically finishes at 7:15 pm with more networking afterwards. Please feel welcome to join us.

Register

The event is FREE. Registration is not required but recommended for planning purposes.

18 October 2018

NEF Showcase Presentation and Pitch Pit

ForumLocation: 

Ann Arbor SPARK Central, 330 E. Liberty St, Lower Level, Ann Arbor

Showcase Presentation

We showcase an outstanding team of entrepreneurs who are looking to raise capital for their venture. They have gone through an extensive coaching from our experienced coaches and these founders are eager to present their venture to the entrepreneurial community at this event.

This event gives the start-up the opportunity to practice presenting to investors and others interested in the Detroit Area entrepreneurial community.  Each presentation will reflect NEF training on what is important to communicate and what not to do. They would greatly appreciate your feedback, insights and encouragement. You will also learn a few tips and techniques in sharpening your own pitch for your venture.

Join us at this meeting to ask questions, keep pace with local entrepreneurs, and connect with people who support the local start-up community.

Legacy Shave

Mike Gutow, CEO and Co-Founder.  Shaving can be a chore, especially with today’s busy lifestyles. But, what if there was a way to have a better shaving experience and pamper your self at the same time? That’s the idea behind Legacy Shave and The Evolution Brush – a unique, patented technology brings that old-fashioned barber shop experience into your home. The Evolution Brush combines the feel and benefits of a traditional barber shop shaving brush (i.e., hands free shaving cream and a clean, close shave) with the convenience of modern shaving cream and gel shaving cans. Simply attach the shave brush to the can and enjoy the ultimate shaving experience – while traveling back to a more elegant time.

NEF Pitch Pit

Four entrepreneurs will each give a four-minute pitch of their business idea to a panel of investor judges in a “Shark Tank” format. Prototypes and visual aids are encouraged but no Power Point presentations. After each pitch, the judges will give detailed feedback and score the business. At the end of the evening, the person with the highest score will receive a $100 cash prize plus all additional prize money provided by the audience.

The four entrepreneurs, selected from a large pool of applicants are:

  • Gina Adams-Levy.  Buttons to Button sells innovative accessories to help people with disabilities get dressed.
  • Beau Mann.  Sober Grid is a social network and peer coaching network for people with substance abuse disorder.
  • Robert Oklejas.  eScapes is a 24/7 relaxation television programming to transform stressful settings.
  • Nicolas Theoret,  Osci provides a noise and vibration monitoring system to improve the reliability and safety of autonomous vehicles.

Pitch Pit Judges:

A panel of four esteemed judges will provide feedback and score the teams.

Ted Dacko currently runs Arbor Dakota, a consulting company dedicated to helping early stage tech companies grow great ideas into great companies. He helps companies with their growth strategies and focuses on marketing strategy and sales discipline.   Prior to that he successfully managed HealthMedia for 10 years leading to a great exit with J&J.  This success was recently cited in Blue Ocean Shift as an example of using the Blue Ocean Strategy of creating "uncontested market spaces" in the healthcare sector. Ted is a frequent speaker and educator, specifically at the University of Michigan and at Ann Arbor SPARK.

Dr. Mai Iskandar-Datta is Professor of Finance at Wayne State University.  As an Entrepreneurship and Innovation Faculty Fellow, she teaches courses on the resources essential for the entrepreneur’s success and the various forms of financing the entrepreneur can access at different stages of growth. Students learn about the canvas business model, best structure of a pitch deck and pitch presentation, the term sheet, and how to value a start-up.  Her research interests in corporate finance include executive compensation, mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring, capital structure, initial public offerings of debt securities, to name a few.  She holds a BS, MBA and PhD from the University of Missouri, Columbia.

Brian Kelly is the CEO of Censys, a company that continually monitors every reachable server and device on the Internet, so you can search for and analyze them in real time. Brian is a leader of A2 New Tech, one of the longest-running, largest attendance, tech startup events in the region.  Brian founded Third Rail, a boutique consultancy that helps software businesses position themselves for investment, growth, or acquisition. He also served as the VP of Product at Nutshell CRM and for three years he was the Principal Product Manager at Duo Security.  Brian holds a BS in Computer Science from Virginia Tech.

Rahul Mitra is an Assistant Professor of Organizational Communication at Wayne State University. His scholarship focuses on sustainable organizing, corporate social responsibility, leadership for social change, and how people find their work meaningful. He also teaches both undergraduate and graduate classes on leadership, small group communication, organizational communication, and qualitative research methods. His current research project examines the impact of entrepreneurial ecosystems on urban sustainability, especially in post-industrial cities like Detroit. Rahul has published more than 30 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and encylopedia entries till date, and has obtained several awards for his work. He holds a PhD in Organizational Communication from Purdue University, and a Master's in Organizational Communication and Public Relations from Bowling Green State University.

Mark your calendar. The meeting opens at 5:00 pm with networking and appetizers. Around 5:45 pm, the program portion of the meeting begins with an introduction from our President including upcoming entrepreneurial events and past NEF Showcase Presenter news. The program continues with our featured Showcase Presenter(s) who are graduates of the NEF coaching process. Depending on the month or otherwise noted, the program includes the engaging NEF Pitch Pit or intriguing topic and panel. The program typically finishes at 7:15 pm with more networking afterwards. Please feel welcome to join us.

REGISTER

Registration recommended for planning purposes.

Showcase Presenter: 

20 September 2018

Doomed, Frustrated and Seeking Funding?

ForumLocation: 

Ann Arbor SPARK Central, 330 E. Liberty St, Lower Level, Ann Arbor

New Enterprise Forum invites anyone interested in entrepreneurship to join us at our monthly Forum to connect with entrepreneurs, investors, service providers and businesses.

Showcase Presentation

We showcase an outstanding team of entrepreneurs who are looking to raise capital for their venture. They have gone through an extensive coaching from our experienced coaches and these founders are eager to present their venture to the entrepreneurial community at this event. They would greatly appreciate your feedback, insights and encouragement. You will also learn a few tips and techniques in sharpening your own pitch for your venture.

This event gives the start-up the opportunity to practice presenting to investors and others interested in the Detroit Area entrepreneurial community. Each presentation will reflect NEF training on what is important to communicate and what not to do. They would greatly appreciate your feedback, insights and encouragement. You will also learn a few tips and techniques in sharpening your own pitch for your venture.

Join us at this meeting to ask questions, keep pace with local entrepreneurs, and connect with people who support the local start-up community.

SmileBond

Dr. William C. Vuillemot, CEO and Founder.

SmileBOND Systems, LLC, is a Michigan based business which trains and equips dentists and their teams to deliver brilliant, gleaming smiles to their patients, using its proprietary multi-tooth bonding system. SmileBOND allows dentists to permanently transform smiles and bites in 2 visits with little to no tooth grinding required. Unlike the patient’s alternative options, SmileBOND’s injectable composite bonding materials are also easily reparable and cost less.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Doomed, Frustrated and Seeking Funding?

In Addition, we have a panel of experts who will guide you through current trends in funding, especially funding the early stage deals.

Have you ever wondered what the right steps are to raise startup capital? When you feel "Doomed, Frustrated" and continue to seek funding deals, you don't see too many options. Our experienced panel will 'tell all' the ins and outs of the funding opportunities and challenges in the deal process in this don't miss panel discussion.

We intend to discuss various options available to raise money for your startup. In this month's forum, we want to focus on what founders can do to raise startup capital above and beyond traditional sources of investments. We hope that this will be of greater interest and value to founders and it will be a dynamic discussion between investors, founders and the audience.

Panel:

We have an outstanding panel of investors and entrepreneurs. 

Herbert (Herb) E. Gibson, Jr., GAPro System, Founder, Chief Executive Officer

Herb Gibson is Founder and CEO of GAPro, the data sharing Verification-as-a-Service platform. GAPro, named by Insurance Thought Leadership as one of the “Six Startups to Watch” delivers significant new capabilities while reducing both costs and errors associated with legacy certificate of insurance form based approaches. GAPro’s ecosystem provides all insurance stakeholders (carriers, agent/brokers, insured and third-parties) with secure self-service access to their insurance information, providing real-time and ongoing insurance confirmation and compliance verification globally. Additionally, GAPro can provide new customers and sources of revenue for carriers and agent/brokers alike.

Herb has overall responsibility for strategic direction and operations. His unique mix of pragmatic entrepreneurial technology and insurance experience positions GAPro towards significant growth and customer engagement. His experience includes founder of ITG Advisors (a commercial lines insurance agency), President/CEO for Aversien Science (risk management technology company) and Vice-President of Meadowbrook Insurance Group. A native of Detroit, Herb graduated from and played football for Notre Dame under the tutelage of Coach Lou Holtz. Herb received his Masters of Science in Management from Walsh.

Patricia Glaza, Venture and Managing Director, Invest Detroit Ventures

Patti joined Invest Detroit in 2014 with more than 20 years of experience in the development, implementation and commercialization of advanced technologies. She manages Invest Detroit’s venture funds and portfolio of investments. Patti leverages her broad industry relationships and operational experience to serve as a resource to nurture and promote technology startup companies. Prior to joining Invest Detroit, Patti was with Arsenal Venture Partners, a multi-stage national venture capital firm focused on IT, energy and industrial technologies.

Fares Ksebati, Co-Founder & CEO

Fares is the CEO of MySwimPro, a technology and media company that creates mobile and wearable applications that help swimmers around the world improve their performance and health. He is a former collegiate swimmer, U.S. Masters swimming national champion and American Swim Coaches Association Fellow. MySwimPro has received international accolades including being named the Best App of the Year by Apple and has been featured in Sports Illustrated. The company has secured partnerships with CASIO, Strava and the Global Swim Series with a growing international subscriber base. His team successfully raised a round of equity crowdfunding that included over 150 angel investors and venture capitalists meanwhile doubling their conversion rate to premium subscribers. MySwimPro has grown revenue by more than 40% for the last 7 consecutive quarters.

Moderator

Stewart V. (Stew) Nelson
If you are active in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in SE Michigan, it is likely that you have met Stew Nelson. Stew is past Board President of the New Enterprise Forum, NEF. He is a serial entrepreneur with Founder’s title in Mayasil, LLC, GAPro Systems, Adrelenventis, LLC, Solidspeed Networks and Geostrip Systems just to mention a few.  As an active angel investor, he has ownership equity positions in Blaze Medical Devices, Sentinl, SurClean, Catalyst, Family Mint, among others. Stew is a retired pilot with over 30 years of military and commercial experience and more recently as a commercial insurance professional with Kapnick Insurance Group.

Not satisfied with retirement three times now, Stew is currently serving as CEO of Mayasil, LLC.  Stew is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan, BA, 69 and Eastern Michigan University, MBA 92.

Agenda:

Mark your calendar. The meeting opens at 5:00 pm with networking and appetizers. Around 5:45 pm, the program portion of the meeting begins with an introduction from our President including upcoming entrepreneurial events and past NEF Showcase Presenter news. The program continues with our featured Showcase Presenter(s) who are graduates of the NEF coaching process. Depending on the month or otherwise noted, the program includes the engaging NEF Pitch Pit or intriguing topic and panel. The program typically finishes at 7:15 pm with more networking afterwards. Please feel welcome to join us.

The event is FREE. Registration is not required but recommended for planning purposes.

Showcase Presenter: 

16 August 2018

Summer Break - No Forum in August

ForumLocation: 

Ann Arbor SPARK Central, 330 E. Liberty St, Lower Level, Ann Arbor

Our next Forum event will be on 20 September 2018 as we will be taking a break from our normal Forum schedule for August. However, that does not mean we are taking a break from NEF coaching or participating in other entrepreneurial events around the area.

We are extending to you, our NEF Supporters, a huge thank you and hope to see you again at the September Forum meeting. Details will be posted after returning from our brief respite.

26 July 2018

NEF Showcase Presentation and Pitch Pit

ForumLocation: 

Ann Arbor SPARK Central, 330 E. Liberty St, Lower Level, Ann Arbor

Past Presenter Update

We showcase an outstanding team of entrepreneurs who are looking to raise capital for their venture. They have gone through an extensive coaching from our experienced coaches and these founders are eager to present their venture to the entrepreneurial community at this event.

This event gives the start-up the opportunity to practice presenting to investors and others interested in the Detroit Area entrepreneurial community.  Each presentation will reflect NEF training on what is important to communicate and what not to do. They would greatly appreciate your feedback, insights and encouragement. You will also learn a few tips and techniques i sharpening your own pitch for your venture.

Join us at this meeting to ask questions, keep pace with local entrepreneurs, and connect with people who support the local start-up community.

This month Workit Health will present their story and give us an update since they initially presented in September 2015 as NEF Showcase Presenter.

Workit Health

Workit Health makes digital substance abuse recovery programs. Workit Health provides the following products and services:
1)  Workit Core- 90 day program for addictive behaviors    
2)  Workit Clnic- 2 year program for opioid use disorders including telepsychiatry

Presently company's flagship product “Workit Clinic” is live in the b2b and d2c markets. The Workit Program competes primarily based on its on ¬demand access to 24/7 therapeutic support from triggering moments for risky drinkers and and on-demand access to care teams of counselors and prescribing clinicians enabling home-based rehab. Clients include Steelcase, Honigman, and Salesforce.

Over the past 2 years, the company has treated 1300 patients both in person and online and 91.07% of the current patient load have attended 4 or more appointments. While the patient retention rates remain high, the conversion rates of potential patients continue to grow by an average of 10% each month.

Lisa McLaughlin is a social entrepreneur and the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Workit Health, a telehealth addiction care company creating a home-based rehab program for drinking and drug use backed by the National Science Foundation. She is the recipient of the TechWeek Detroit Technology Woman of the Year award for 2017. Lisa serves as a Desai Accelerator Mentor for early stage technology companies and as an advisor to a number of biotech startups.

Lisa has held leadership positions at some of world’s most respected digital health and learning companies. She developed one of the first social sector technology service models in the health informatics space and has facilitated a wide range of learning innovation labs for foundations (Gates Foundation, Hewlett Foundation) and universities. She has extensive training and experience in addiction research, crisis referral, alcohol and drug treatment aftercare, wilderness therapy, disaster response, and college completion. Lisa was previously an Innovation Fellow at the University of Michigan School of Information building social impact programs at the intersection of information science and social innovation (MSI/MSW).

NEF Pitch Pit

Three entrepreneurs will each give a four-minute pitch of their business idea to a panel of investor judges in a “Shark Tank” format. Prototypes and visual aids are encouraged but no Power Point presentations. After each pitch, the judges will give detailed feedback and score the business. At the end of the evening, the person with the highest score will receive a $100 cash prize plus all additional prize money provided by the audience.

The three entrepreneurs, selected from a large pool of applicants are:

  • Efay Guo.  SeeU is an on-demand mobile app that allows users to join or create any activities in less than 20 seconds and meet people and make friends within 1 hour.
  • Adrian Lorenzi. TOTAGO is a transportation-focused web and mobile application for outdoor recreation.
  • Sergio Rodriguez.  ToDoolie is an online platform for high school and college students to find work in their neighborhood.

Pitch Pit Judges:

A panel of four esteemed judges will provide feedback and score the teams.

Angela Kujava is the Managing Director of Desai Accelerator, which works with early stage tech startups to drive relentlessly toward achieving their first $1 Million. She also serves as a mentor to the startups in Desai's programs, and works closely with the region’s business and campus communities to further existing relationships for the benefit of not only the participating startups but also the broader entrepreneurial landscape. Prior to Desai, Angela was the Director of Innovation at a global software development firm, where she led the marketing, creative, and eCommerce teams. Her areas of expertise include strategic planning, creative strategy, content writing and management, and public speaking.

Debra Christein is a partner with B2B CFO.  With 30 years’ experience working with privately owned businesses on the financial management of their businesses, she brings a wealth of expertise and experience to business owners that need solutions and plans to move their businesses forward. She works with business owners on managing immediate needs and/or planning for long-term needs and business transition.  Her services include improving cash flow, setting up the finance structure and procedures to support growing businesses and creating models to guide decisions about operations management and strategic direction.   Debra earned her MBA at the University of Michigan.

 

Hank Brown has been actively involved with supporting a number of startup businesses. His area of expertise has been in supporting healthcare startups with initial commercialization efforts and managing product development using his healthcare contacts to provide early customer feedback and of course every startup needs help with investor pitch development for raising capital. Working as coach and mentor has also provided an opportunity to serve as a board advisor and board member to a few companies.  These include Surgical Solutions, Stryker and Tangent Medical, a UofM spinout that was sold to ICU Medical in 2016.  Hank earned a BS in Math from York University.

 

Pete Benedetto is the Manager of Entrepreneur Selection & Growth at Endeavor Detroit, the Detroit chapter of an international organization that promotes economic growth by selecting, mentoring, and accelerating entrepreneurs of high-growth, scalable companies.  He was previously a Director at Michigan Corps where he led the organization in its mission of engaging Michigan expats and residents in innovative economic development initiatives.   He also led the growth and development of Kiva Detroit, the nation’s first Kiva City, by establishing a network of support service providers for entrepreneurs. His efforts helped 20 small business owners obtain interest-free microloans in 2014.   He has led youth immersion trips and work programs in the UK and the Philippines. Pete holds a BA in Philosophy from the University of Michigan.

 

Mark your calendar. The meeting opens at 5:00 pm with networking and appetizers. Around 5:45 pm, the program portion of the meeting begins with an introduction from our President including upcoming entrepreneurial events and past NEF Showcase Presenter news. The program continues with our featured Showcase Presenter(s) who are graduates of the NEF coaching process. Depending on the month or otherwise noted, the program includes the engaging NEF Pitch Pit or intriguing topic and panel. The program typically finishes at 7:15 pm with more networking afterwards. Please feel welcome to join us.

REGISTER

Registration recommended for planning purposes.

Showcase Presenter: 

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